A highlight of some of the findings reported in this briefing:
- Disposable income declined for most households in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the largest losses for the lowest-income earners (-10.2%).
- Compensation of employees—of which wages and salaries make up the largest share—was up in the fourth quarter.
- The most pronounced wage losses were experienced by the lowest-income (-5.3%) and the youngest (-3.1%) households, as many people in these households work in industries or jobs hard hit by the pandemic.
- There was a decline in COVID-19-specific support measures and a significant rise in EI benefits in the fourth quarter of 2020.
- Overall consumption expenditure was down in 2020 compared with 2019.
- Net saving for many households declined as their disposable income decreased and consumption edged up.
- The debt-to-income ratio increased the most for households in the lowest income quintile.